As the Rey Fire continues to burn toward the Dick Smith Wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest, residents and visitors may be impacted by smoke in the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara and Santa Maira Valley. Smoke impacts will be greater in the morning and evening hours, according to fire officials. People can follow simple guidelines to reduce their exposure on smoky days:
· Stay indoors as much as possible, especially seniors and children. Plan your outdoor activities for times and places with low smoke levels. Up-slope breezes occur during the day which will often take smoke into higher elevations. In the evening, these winds change direction and bring smoke down slope to lower elevations.
· Close windows, doors, and outside vents when it is smoky to prevent accumulations indoors. Run your air conditioner, if you have one. Ventilate your home and work place during periods of little or no smoke.
· Drink lots of water, eat a balanced diet, and get adequate rest. A healthy immune system is the best protection against the effects of smoke.
· Don’t bother wearing paper masks which are designed to trap large dust particles. These masks generally will not protect your lungs from wildland fire smoke.
· Be diligent about taking your medicines as prescribed by your doctor if you have heart or lung disease, asthma or emphysema. People with pre-existing respiratory problems are at greater risk.
To view results from county air quality monitors, see https://www.ourair.org/todays-air-quality/.